“Kenya has a love affair with their land and takes great pride in farming” – David Walker
If you haven’t tried tea from this part of the world, you are missing out on something special. I had the pleasure of attending a World Origin Tea Tasting at the World Tea Expo East in Philadelphia and Kenya was represented. Here are 10 interesting facts you may not have know Kenya and its teas:
- 1903 – Kenya tea production begins
- Assamica is the varietal used and it produces a beautiful red color in the cup as opposed to a golden color
- 300 tons of CTC tea is produced a year
- Tea is the #1 foreign exchange for Kenya
- $67 billing shillings earned from tea export
- Tea is mainly grown by small scale farmers
- There are 550,000 tea farmers in Kenya
- Tea affects 3 million people in Africa
- Orthodox teas are better for farmer wages
- Best paid tea farmers in the world are Kenyan.
I tried a few teas during the tasting but the two that stood out was a brilliant white tea called White Whisper and Grandpa’s Anytime, CTC Black tea.
“White Whisper” Orthodox White Tea: An absolute delight. Light and floral with hints of fruit, there was no bitterness or astringency. The color in the cup was almost clear which made it even more surprising when I tasted the liquor and was surprised by the lovely flavor. “This tea placed in the top 5 at the 2011 North American Tea Championship. White Whisper ranked 5th as the only white orthodox tea from Africa to be placed . “White Whisper” was rated as “Very Good: a tea with superior characteristics.” –Joy Njguna, Royal Tea of Kenya
Grandpa’s Anytime Tea, CTC black tea: The name of this tea is in honor of Arthur, the oldest tea farmer in the world (111years). His life story about how his family contributed to political and economic change in Kenya is humbling and I believe is being considered for a book and/or documentary. Grandpa’s tea is simply out of this world. Strong, bold and without bitterness – amazing flavor for a CTC. Though I dont take tea with milk, this tea can hold its own. Its just the kick one needs to get the day started and makes for a lovely breakfast tea.
We feel fortunate to be among the few who will be carrying these two teas, which should be arriving any day so keep checking back on our site!
Support farmers. Sip tea. Feel happy!